Many brands operating on Amazon's Vendor Central system didn’t receive their expected Purchase Orders this week. Some notifications cited technical issues with the ordering system, others suggested that the supplier should not expect future purchase orders to be placed at all. Some brands even found their inventory reset to zero last week.
I jumped on the mic with Project Manager Armin Alispahic today in response to an overwhelming amount of questions and confusion from vendors. If you want to listen to our discussion, tune in for episode 32 of the Ecommerce Braintrust poscast right here.
I also summed up our discussion and high-level view of what is actually required to onboard with Seller Central in a post for Forbes today.
Here’s a quick summary of the podcast & article.
The brief background: Amazon suddenly stopped placing POs for thousands of vendors on Monday, March 4th. Many vendors with under $10M in sales on Amazon were affected, but not all. And the reasons given by Amazon to these vendors appears to vary.
Why Amazon wants more brands on a “self-serve” model rather than a traditional retail model. Several reasons for this, but it includes more oversight required, use of capital, and product margins.
Major differences in the platforms. Vendors who are primarily familiar with a wholesale model need to learn the basics of the more direct-to-consumer marketplace model. There are nice upsides (price control! Inventory control!) but more oversight needed in other areas like customer service.
What to do next. Depending on your the specific situation, brands might be considering their move to Amazon Seller Central ASAP. A summary of the steps required to make that happen.
If you think you’ll need support during this transition, Bobsled could help. We provide managed services for brands operating on both platforms - so intimately know the differences between the two. Read more about our Seller Central Account Management or request a free consultation.